Saturday, March 21, 2009

Day 2 of spring 2009

I spent most of the first day of spring driving. The model was delivered to a small town about 2.5 hours from me. It will be in their paper next week, so I'll be able to show you what it looks like then. They might even mention my name when they cover it.

When I got home, the first thing I did was unload all the dirt I picked up at Lowes. I've been saying I needed dirt for several weeks now. And now I have it - 8 bags of it to be exact. I've got tomatoes that need to be potted into larger containers. I've got cherry tomatoes that need to be potted into individual containers. I've got lots of annuals in the basement that need to be repotted too. The plan is to get all of that done this morning. I hope I have time.

Today is also a day for starting root crop seeds. I don't eat many, but I'm going to direct sow beets into the garden. I found a pack of sweet peas that might do well on my trellis in the perennial bed. They should have been planted last week. I'll also direct sow morning glories and cardinal vine. This year, the trellis will be covered by annual vines until the climbing rose I planted gets some size to it. I also want to plant a Carolina Jasmine on the opposite side, but I haven't bought one just yet. Maybe I'll bring one home on Monday.

Other seeds I'll be starting today include:
Nasturtium (moonlight, Dwarf Cherry Rose, and Jewel Mix)
dutchman's pipe vine
millet (Purple Baron and Purple Majesty)
Convolvulus tricolor - a dwarf, trailing morning glory
Fennel (bronze and green)
Dusty miller
Four O'Clocks (white and Limelight)
and finally, Mammoth sunflowers

These will all be started in small containers for transplanting in another month. Some of these I have never grown. Most are accent plants for the garden, or companion plants for the veggies. The Four O'clocks will be used as trap plants to keep my roses and veggies safe from the dreaded Japanese Beetles. I hope all those Robins I've been seeing in the yard for the past couple of weeks are helping. I think they're probably eating earthworms instead. Stupid birds.

Walking around the yard last night, I noticed the ginger lilies are returning in the rear bed. The grasses there are coming back too. Unfortunately, my Kleims Hardy gardenia wasn't as hardy as they claimed. It's been slowly turning black over the last three weeks. That's too bad. It had a great smell this summer when it bloomed. Maybe I'll consider getting another one this summer when they arrive at the store. Maybe not.

It's 5:06am, clear and 37 degrees. One more night of frost in the 10 day forecast. Tomorrow, the indoor plants will go back into the hoophouse, hopefully for the last time.

8:15am - 34 degrees now. The basement is clean. Time to make it dirty again.


lynn'sgarden said...

Hi Tom, I'm really in awe of all the green life you're nuturing! From your huge list, we have the Dill and Four O'clocks in common. I grow Dill more for the flowers than culinary and Four O'clocks because they remind me of a good friend's garden in California! Hope you get lots accomplished this great weekend, reminds me I need to get dirt, too!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Still going strong on all your planting! I usually start Nasturtiums in the ground here. They go crazy, they always end up covered in aphids though by the end of summer. I wonder if that's why they say to plant them near veges, so they attract all the bad bugs.

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

Thanks Lynn. I'm having a lot of fun this year. Last spring I wasted my money and time on store bought plants, mostly annuals. This year, I'm doing a LOT more with seeds, cuttings, and transplants.

My dill will be used to help the cukes and cabbage. At least that's the plan.

Catherine, I'm not even close to being done. I need more than 24 hours in a day. I hope to get everything sown before I can plant them out. I was thinking the nasturtiums would be direct sown too. Last year I started some from seed but failed miserably. Sowing outdoors in the hoophouse or wintersowing is so much easier. If they attract aphids, so be it. That means more lady bugs!

Machelle said...

I am so envious of the talent you have with taking cuttings. I have not been successful as of yet, don't know what i am doing wrong. I LOVE Moonvine the scent is absolutely intoxicating.

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

Machelle, it took me a while to figure out what I was doing wrong. If I take a cutting and try to root it indoors, everything including the soil must be sterilized. You can use boiling water for the soil and a 1:10 bleach:water solution for the tools. You have to make a very clean cut with a really sharp knife. Outside, just make sure the cutters are sterile and keep everything moist. I use the method in the summer for softwood and semi-ripe growth. This hardwood thing is a new one for me. If at first you don't succeed.... :)